Christian Bale's Thoughts on Acting and Relationships with Directors in Hollywood

Christian Bale Discusses Acting

Recently, Variety sat down with Christian Bale and Scott Cooper about the upcoming feature film 'Out of the Furnace'. During the course of the interview, Christian Bale brought up some very interesting perspectives he has on acting and the relationship an actor should have with a director.
Christian, you plunge so deeply into your roles that it must be interesting to sit back in the editing room and choose your best takes. Bale: Listen, I've always believed that the director does whatever the hell he wants. That's what you sign on for as an actor — I can't stand it when you have actors who are trying to leverage directors into doing things they don't want to do. That being said, I'm fascinated by directing, and I gave Scott whatever thoughts I had knowing that he would listen to the ones that are good and disregard the ones that aren't. And that's how it should be. In Out of the Furnace, Casey Affleck's character says he's meant for more than working at the steel mill. Did you also have that realization at some point in your career, that you were meant to do more than hold down a normal 9-to-5 job? Bale: For me, I started doing this when I was quite young. It did unfortunately become a necessity for me, in that I was having to support people through acting, and even at the lowest end of what the union requires you to pay actors, that was a phenomenal amount of money for my family. So there was a slight responsibility I felt with all of that, but the one thing that my father would have absolutely just killed me for is if I'd ever taken a 9-to-5 job. That was the one thing that he said, "Don't ever fuckin' touch that kind of crap." The biggest rebellion I could've ever had with my father would be to work in a bank. He would have disowned me. As long as I was doing something where I didn't have to wear a tie, I was good. ... Christian, between this film and The Fighter, you've really become proficient at a sort of character we don't see onscreen very often, this impoverished American just trying to eke out his small space in the world. Bale: I do it for totally selfish reasons. I look at a character and I think, That's an absolutely fantastic character I can dig into. As a consequence, if you're representing those sort of people, that's great. I'd love to say I'm altruistic in that fashion, but I'm not — and you can't go out aiming for that, because it could be a bit patronizing. I just look at the project and think, Is this what I want to be doing and can I spend two months digging into that character?
For the full interview, Click Here! It is interesting to see the type of roles Christian Bale auditions for. "I look at a character and I think, That's an absolutely fantastic character I can dig into." What do you think of Christian Bale's remarks on acting and the relationship with the director? photo credit: modenadude via photopin cc